"Every Sunday in the Fall we do everything we can to win. All year long, we do everything we can to support our community." –John York
The DeBartolo York family and 49ers Foundation were recognized for their philanthropic efforts in the community
at the Children's Discovery Museum's 15th annual Legacy for Children Awards last Friday. Joining 49ers co-Chairman John York were son and CEO of the 49ers Jed York, and daughters Jenna and Mara, along with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula and wife Julie, alumni Guy McIntyre and Dennis Brown, Vice President of Football Operations Jeff Ferguson, 49ers Foundation Executive Director Joanne Pasternack and 49ers Youth Football Manager Jared Muela.
"It goes much further than football on field," said Ferguson, "Through the Yorks and 49ers Foundation, the community involvement is immeasurable and is truly something special to be a part of."
"What the Yorks do and what the 49ers organization has done since I have been a part of it is incredible," added 49ers alumnus Guy McIntyre, "Despite what may happen on or off the field, we are always winning in the community."
John York and family join an acclaimed list of top names in the limelight who have received the award in recognition of their charitable endeavors. Past recipients include: Kristi Yamaguchi, Olympic Figure Skating Champion and founder of the Always Dream Foundation, author and illustrator Theodor Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, 49ers alumnus Ronnie Lott, founder of All Stars Helping Kids and Fred Rogers (aka Mr. Rogers of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood).
"We acknowledge people throughout the community, nation and world who are doing remarkable work to improve children's lives," stated Executive Director of the Children's Discovery Museum, Marilee Jennings who knew the Yorks were a perfect fit after speaking to affiliates of the 49ers Academy, "We knew the 49ers Foundation and DeBartolo York family represented this award in its entirety after listening to the parents speak so highly of John (York) and Denise (DeBartolo York) and the incredible involvement of the 49ers organization."
The event featured a warm welcome led by Jennings and Legacy for Children 2014 Chair, Dan Amend, followed by dinner, a participatory physics-oriented table top activity for the guests – a hands on showcase of the mission of the museum, a remarkable Fund a Need, and the announcement of the night's MVP, the York family.
"It is an honor to accept this award and be recognized for all that our organization and my parents, John and Denise, do," expressed Jed York, "The 49ers Foundation mission is to 'Keep Kids Safe, on Track and in School,' and it isn't a an easy task, but we strive to do it right and authentically and make a lasting impact."
In 2013, the 49ers community efforts reached milestones. Over 40 community events were hosted for underserved youth and philanthropic causes, allowing for 100 percent of the roster to commit free time to better the lives of those in need. A 49ers Foundation record $3.3 million was donated to Bay Area youth to support the mission to keep kids "Safe, on Track and in School" and the organization also received the prestigious, national RWJ Foundation's Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy.
"The Legacy for Children Award is a true honor. The Yorks give every day in an authentic way and their commitment to philanthropy carries through to the players, coaches, alumni and entire organization," said Director of Community Relations and the 49ers Foundation, Joanne Pasternack, "It has been a phenomenal year for the 49ers Foundation, and the York family has created a leadership environment for philanthropy that is unparalleled within the NFL."